Striking New Haven Teachers See Progress But No Deal Yet

Representatives for teachers on strike against the New Haven Unified School District indicated Monday evening that a settlement could be near, but talks ended Monday night with no deal reached.

The two sides are expected back at the bargaining table at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Second grade teacher Paul Strickland, a member of the executive board of the New Haven Teachers Association, was optimistic earlier Monday evening.

"We are hoping there is going to be some kind of agreement, hopefully maybe tonight," he said. 

Strickland, speaking through a megaphone during a briefing broadcast on the association's Facebook page, said that if an agreement is reached, there are two possibilities - that teachers could be back in the classroom as soon as Tuesday, or that teachers could remain out another day to consider the possible settlement.

"There's no agreement yet, but there is a conversation," Strickland said to pickets and supporters outside the Alameda County Office of Education in Hayward. 

Cynthia Menzel of the California Teachers Association said she is "pessimistically optimistic" about the progress made, adding, "It's a two-way conversation now, instead of one-way."

The walkout by teachers in the 11,000-student district started May 20.

Teachers have been seeking a 10% raise over the next two academic years, while the district has offered a 1% raise for next year and a one-time 3% payment.

The district is also offering a permanent 0.5% increase if it's able to secure an additional $1 million in revenue, and another 0.5% if it can add yet another $1 million, according to district officials.

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